Cyclists run the risk of being knocked flying by a door suddenly being opened, particularly in cities. This is the most dangerous part of riding bicycles.
More cyclists that ever before are riding on our roads. In the past decade literally thousands of cyclists have been injured, and tragically some have been killed, by being “doored” whilst passing a stationary vehicle.
It is very difficult for cyclists to see if anyone is in a parked car, let alone whether a door is likely to be suddenly flung open in front of them.
Drivers of course have a duty to check their side mirrors before opening their doors. However, there are no side mirrors available to backseat passengers, or passengers in the back of a taxi or an Uber.
Steps have been taken in the UK and in some European countries, including The Netherlands to minimise the risk of “dooring” by passengers in taxis and Uber vehicles. An App has been created to alert passengers via their phones just before the end of their journey to remind them to keep a lookout for oncoming cyclists before opening the door of the vehicle in which they are travelling.
In some countries “dooring” is a criminal offence, punishable by hefty fines.
The App to which I have referred has been developed with the use of GPS data to identify when passengers are being dropped off on roads which contain a cycle lane or in areas commonly used by cyclists. It is hoped that sending out alerts to passengers will actually educate passengers to practice caution when opening doors in places where cyclists are likely to be present.
Written by Tom Goudkamp OAM